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If you’ve been the victim of discrimination at work or have otherwise been wrongfully terminated from your job, you obviously face many challenges and numerous stresses in your life. One of them may be an employer who seeks to prevent you from getting your day in court by instead forcing your dispute into arbitration. Don’t let that happen without a fair legal fight, and don’t try to handle that stressful challenge on your own. Be sure you have an experienced Oakland employment attorney on your side advocating for you.

Recently, the case of a San Francisco law partner who alleged that she was the victim of sex discrimination was again in the news, as mid-June 2019 brought the filing of a flurry of amicus briefs supporting the employer in this case. To recap, the California Court of Appeal ruled in favor the employee last year, concluding that the employer was not entitled to demand that the two sides resolve their Fair Employment and Housing Act dispute through arbitration, even though the partner’s agreement with the firm called for arbitration of disputes like FEHA discrimination claims. (In this circumstance, the partner had alleged that the firm had effectively forced her out of her job due to her being a woman.)

The reason that the partner won in the appeals court was a legal concept that is known as “unconscionability.” In contract law, a contract or contract provision is unconscionable if it is so one-sided as to be unreasonable. The partner’s arbitration agreement was not enforceable because it contained unconscionable terms related to payment of arbitration costs and attorneys’ fees. It also contained an unconscionable confidentiality term that could impair the lawyer’s ability to interview witnesses.

When your employer has fired you, or has implicitly forced you out, based upon your disability or perceived disability, it is undeniably an incredibly difficult time for you. You may be uncertain about what to do. You may be uncertain about where to turn. If you’re in this challenging position, one of your first steps should be to protect your legal rights by contacting an experienced Oakland employment attorney.

C.R. was an employee who faced that type of circumstance in his case. C.R. was a deputy district attorney for a county in Southern California. In 2013, he began exhibiting symptoms of a serious neurological problem. The attorney asked his supervisor to transfer him to a different assignment, but the supervisor declined. He later asked not to be assigned any new cases while he was undergoing testing, but that request was also initially refused.

The attorney’s doctors concluded that he had a concussion syndrome related to his past military service and also suspected he had an autoimmune disorder. The employer asked for written documentation from the lawyer’s medical providers clinic, but the attorney didn’t provide it because the clinic he used “had a practice of not supplying such documentation.” When the paperwork did not come, the employer at first refused to engage in a good-faith interactive process.

In any civil lawsuit, you have the potential to go up against well-funded opposition with powerful attorneys. To achieve a positive end, then, you must also be well equipped and ready to take on the other side. That includes making sure you have knowledgeable Oakland employment counsel on your side. You undoubtedly are intimately familiar with the facts of your discrimination case, but your skilled attorney can employ useful legal techniques on your behalf to strengthen your position and to stop your opposition from making arguments the law says aren’t allowed.

As an example, there is the case of T.F. T.F. worked as a counselor for an entity providing services to people with mental health disabilities. After 22 years with the employer, the counselor lost his job due to involuntary termination. Allegedly, the employer fired the counselor for performance-related reasons, including his improper personal use of employer equipment, requesting vacation leave “at the last minute,” excessive use of sick time, an inappropriately large number of phone calls at work, a failure to return voice mail messages and a failure to complete documentation on time.

The counselor, who was African-American, identified a different reason for his termination: his race. He asserted that supervisors treated him differently at staff meetings and gave him disciplinary punishments for violations that were not enforced against white employees.

California is often among the leaders in establishing legal mechanisms to protect workers from various employment harms, including discrimination. The California legislature is once again considering taking an important step that would expand the protections California workers receive.

The bill, already passed by the Senate, would extend the reach of the Fair Employment and Housing Act by banning workplace policies that, on their surface, discriminate against certain hairstyles but that, in actuality, amount to a form of race discrimination. Whether yours is related to your hair or some other issue, if you think you’ve suffered discrimination on the job, be sure that you reach out promptly to an experienced Oakland employment attorney to learn more about the legal options you may have, including filing suit and collecting compensation.

Employer hairstyle policies, on their surface, might seem like simple and necessary things to ensure that all workers maintain certain standards of hygiene, cleanliness and professional appearance. However, just like many things, the reality goes deeper, and is more complicated, than what’s on the surface. An employer’s hair rules, for example, could be used to punish an employee or job candidate for having a hairdo that the employer deems improper for that person’s gender. (In other words, a woman wearing a hairstyle the employer considers too masculine or a man wearing hair the employer thinks is too feminine.)

There are lots of reasons why you can be fired from your job. Possibly fewer are more frustrating that being terminated in retaliation simply because you exercised your legal rights, such as filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Of course, when an employer fires you simply because you filed for workers’ compensation, that employer has broken the law by wrongfully terminating you. That you may have known. What you may not know is… what do I do about it? What steps must I take and how quickly must I act? To get the answers you need to question like this and similar ones, be sure you talk to a knowledgeable Oakland employment attorney about your situation.

A case that recently settled in Sacramento is an example of this type of scenario. M.C. worked as a program analyst for the City of Sacramento from 2011 to 2015. In 2015, she allegedly got hurt at work. As many people who suffer injuries on the job do, M.C. filed a claim seeking workers’ compensation benefits.

A few months after the analyst filed her workers’ compensation claim, the city placed her on a mandatory leave of absence. After that, the city fired the woman, alleging that the termination was the result of the analyst’s “misconduct” on the job. The woman sued and eventually was able to secure a settlement in which the city agreed to pay her $860,000 in exchange for her dropping her case, according to a Sacramento Bee report.

There are lots of good reasons why one might prefer to pursue litigation close to home. Having the case close by might mean lower costs and an opportunity to be more closely involved. It might mean getting a jury that’s more receptive to your arguments. It also might mean getting a judge more familiar with the legal issues you’re asserting (if the other option is to litigate out of state). Whether you’re a Californian or an out-of-stater, and whether you’re in California court because you prefer to litigate here or your employment contract forces you to, be sure your case is armed with the skill and knowledge of an experienced Oakland employment attorney.

Sometimes, litigating in a particular place is not by choice. As an example, take the case of J.N., an East Bay man working for an insurance claims services company. Although the employer was based in suburban Indianapolis, Indiana, J.N. worked in El Cerrito. The company terminated J.N.’s employment in late March, 2017. J.N. believed that he was the victim of illegal discrimination and sued in Contra Costa County, alleging wrongful termination along with several violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

J.N., though, had a problem. The employment contract he signed with the company had what’s called a “forum selection clause.” That is something that says that, if there’s a dispute between you and your employer, you must litigate in one of the designated courts. J.N.’s forum selection clause stated he could only sue the employer in Hamilton County, Indiana, Marion County, Indiana or the federal court in Indianapolis.

Sometimes, even others’ unsuccessful discrimination actions can provide very helpful knowledge for those workers who follow. For example, a musician recently lost his age and disability discrimination lawsuit against his employer. However, the musician lost his case because of a very narrow free speech exception that protected his employer. The rest of his case, however, offered many of the pieces one might need in a discrimination complaint. When it comes to getting the most out of the rulings that precede your case, whether those workers won or lost, be sure you have an experience Oakland employment attorney who can provide you with up-to-date knowledge of the law.

The case involved G.S., a drummer in a rock-n-roll singer’s band. Although the singer had not scored a top-40 record or album since 1991, he and the band continued performing live concerts throughout the 2010s. Immediately after each concert, the drummer staffed a booth that sold t-shirts, CDs and other souvenirs.

In 2015, the singer laid off the drummer. The drummer was 61, had suffered a back injury and also was a cancer survivor, a condition which caused him to have incontinence. The singer sometimes referred to the drummer on stage as “Chemo the Drummer” and stated jokingly that the concert tour was sponsored by a brand of adult diapers used by people with incontinence.

Many people, when they hear the phrase “employment discrimination,” may associate those words with women, people of color, older workers, LGBTQ+ people or religious minorities. The reality is, however, that anyone can pursue a claim for discrimination in California if they can show that they suffered discrimination on the job on the basis of sex, race, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation or gender identity. If you think you’ve been the target of illegal discrimination, act with all due speed to protect your rights. Contact a knowledgeable Oakland employment attorney right away.

A case recently filed by an employee of a major package shipping company is an illustration in point. According to Patch.com, M.M. had worked for the company for 12 years. In 2017, his job duties included assigning driving duties to the employer’s delivery drivers serving Los Angeles County. Allegedly, a driver shortage led M.M. to assign extra work to the existing drivers, which angered P.F. According to M.M., the driver responded in several ways, including speaking in an insubordinate manner and making false allegation about M.M. to the employer’s human resources department. The alleged falsehoods included M.M. physically assaulting P.F.

According to M.M., the employer knew that the driver’s accusations were false, but the employer feared that P.F., who was Latino, would escalate claims of racism and file additional grievances or sue the employer. The employer also allegedly feared upsetting other Latino drivers, leading it to terminate M.M. in an effort to “appease” P.F. and the company’s other Latino employees, Patch.com reported.

About a decade ago, a software company published an advertisement that caught the eye of the so-called “Netizens,” countless online spoofs were made, and an Internet meme was born. Both the original ad, and the spoofs that it inspired, concluded with the line, “It’s more likely than you think.” The same, unfortunately, can be said for road rage: it’s more likely than you think. According to the AAA News Room, almost 4 in 5 drivers have, at some point, engaged in aggressive driving or exhibited substantial amounts of rage while behind the wheel.

Road rage can have many effects on drivers and passengers. One of those effects is potentially to create an emergency on the road. One possible impact (among many) of that emergency is to change the legal assessments regarding who is, or is not, at fault in the vehicle accidents that occur as a result. If you’ve been injured in an accident where another driver was engaging in road rage or aggressive driving, then you should reach out promptly to a knowledgeable Oakland injury attorney to find out more about the compensation to which you may be entitled.

J.S. was driver involved in such an accident and who ended up in court. As he was heading southbound on the 101 freeway, he passed an on-ramp where three cars sought to enter the freeway. One car, a black vehicle, was driven by a driver who allegedly exhibited the classic traits of road rage. The driver allegedly tailgated the woman in front of him and then flipped an obscene gesture as he whipped around her into the #3 lane of the freeway. The woman, according to her testimony, merged into the same lane behind that driver, only to see the driver of the black car slam on his brakes. The woman mashed her braked and stopped in time.

In a famous comedy movie, a major character once declared, “Nothing’s over until we say it is.” While that movie and that line were meant to draw laughs, there is some similarity between that perspective and civil litigation cases, even though the latter are absolutely no laughing matters. Even a setback as serious as a defense verdict at trial does not have to be the end of your pursuit of much-needed compensation. Your case may provide options to take certain actions in the trial court or to seek an appeal. Either way, you may still have an avenue for getting the positive result you need. To pursue these techniques in the most effective way possible, it is worthwhile to have a knowledgeable Oakland injury attorney on your side.

As an example, look at the case of O.M. (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2017-00918947-CU-PA-CJC) O.M. and J.H. were both people headed to work in the Fullerton area when their paths crossed and O.M. was hurt. O.M. was proceeding on foot while J.H. was commuting by car. The timing of this accident was somewhat unsurprising when you consider that, according to the California Department of Public Health, some 36% of all pedestrian accidents occur during the “rush hour” periods of 6:00-8:59 AM and 3:00-5:59 PM.

The collision happened after J.H. encountered a T-intersection and prepared to turn left. According to O.M., J.H. began proceeding with his right turn while still looking to his left to check for oncoming cars. Allegedly, that action caused the driver not to see the pedestrian (O.M.) as she crossed the street. The driver hit her and the impact was substantial. O.M. allegedly suffered a traumatic brain injury and a neck injury that would eventually require fusion surgery and would require her to need therapy for the rest of her life.